Our license to operate legally in Cuba
We are a fully legal tour company in Cuba operating with our official license [ Tomo II, Folio 398 ] through MINTUR (the Ministry of Tourism) and the Camara de Comercio (Chamber of Commerce). We are proud partners of ECOTUR, Cuba’s premier State run eco-tour operator. This brings benefits both to our staff and travellers.
The benefits to our travelers
Safety and Assurance
If for any reason any of our clients need to contact the police, or an embassy, or in the case that any official government assistance is required for anything, there is no impediment or danger for our staff members to provide assistance and accompany the client in these circumstances. It is important to note that this is not the case with all tour operators in Cuba, many of whom work informally in the so called “black market” and in a clandestine way as far as the Cuban authorities are concerned. There are regular stops by police and inspectors to check guide ID’s and this can delay or compromise a tour if the guide is not legally registered in Cuba.
It would be prudent to check if your tour company is licensed to operate legally in Cuba and ask for their MINTUR license number.
Our access to national parks in Cuba
Our offical government partner agency in Cuba is ECOTUR - Cuba’s premier State run eco-tour operator. This partnership provides us with an increased access to national parks and natural areas of Cuba that are more difficult for other operators to access.
The benefits to our staff
Our legal status in Cuba also provides safety and peace of mind to our local staff, who have a legally recognized government job. We are providing our employees with the dignity of a legal job and the security and peace of mind that goes along with not working illegally or informally in Cuba.
All of our tour guides are fully qualified and legally licenced to work in Cuba as a tour guide through the above Cuban government agency - Ecotur. However our arrangement with Ecotur is for these guides to work exclusively for us and not for any other tour business that works with Ecotur.
The benefits to society
Being a legal entity in Cuba means that we are contributing to a more just society. We are implicitly encouraging people to follow the rules and discouraging tax avoidance and corruption. Rather than telling people how they should conduct their lives, we instead lead by example. This is in-line with the core values of our company of respect and transparency. The additional tax and fees that we pay to the government, to officially employ local Cubans, helps the government provide resources to the community such as education and health services.
Our office in Havana
As part of being a legal entity in Cuba, we have the benefit of being able to rent an office space for our staff to work in and for our clients to visit if they require assistance.
If your tour company does not have an office in Havana, or a local agency that officially represents them, it probably means that they are a not a legal tour operation in Cuba. Most of the time this might not have any consequence, however it can become a disadvantage. We decided to take the steps to get a license so as to provide the extra assurance for our travellers and our staff.